Managing a Medical Team of Conflicting Personalities

One of the most difficult jobs of being a manager is learning how to manage the conflicting personality types and work styles of your employees.  This is especially true in today’s workforce where you’re managing employees from multiple generations.  Some employees need constant direction and feedback while others detest being micromanaged.  As a manager, it’s your job to make sure everyone on the team is being both productive and efficient, even if that means you have to treat everyone a little differently in order to help them achieve their highest potential.  Here are a few tips to help you communicate with and motivate the different personalities in your office.

Identify personality types.

There are two main types of personalities in the workplace: thinkers and feelers.  Thinkers are prone to making decisions solely on logic, while feelers make decisions based on relationships and value what is “good” over what objectively makes the most sense.  The sooner you can figure out whether a person is a thinker or feeler, the easier it will be to help manage personality differences.  One way to gauge this is by observing how a person reacts to confrontation when someone disagrees with them.  When managing feelers, you’ll need to be more sensitive to their emotions.  When managing thinkers, focus more on your reasoning and provide logic for your reasoning.

Find the source of conflict.

When personality conflicts arise, it’s important to determine the real issue. Is there a difference of opinion, or an underlying problem? Address the problem with the both employees directly to ensure both parties are aware of and have an understanding of the conflict.  If you don’t, there is very little hope of achieving a resolution.

Develop a culture of communication.

Personality conflicts are often a result of miscommunication.  Employees have different values, perspectives, and/or opposing views.  As a manager, it’s your job to develop a culture of communication where employees can share views and work together effectively, regardless of their differences.  After all, the best workplace processes are often generated out of friendly or lighthearted debates.

Set high expectations.

When you don’t set the bar high, employees get in a routine of doing the same work day after day and become bored.  This sometimes leads to them creating conflict, purely out of boredom.  On the other hand, if you’re constantly challenging employees, they’ll be much more likely to work as a team player.

Know what’s important.

Each of your employees has different career aspirations, motivators — things that make them tic.  Finding out what these motivators are is the key to managing their personalities.   An employee who values freedom and flexibility has different personality traits than one who values direction and structure.  Schedule one-on-one meetings on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to talk about career development and make sure they’re getting what they need to be successful.

Don’t take things personally.

No matter how great of a manager you are, you will always have employees that butt heads.  Don’t take it personally.  Recognize that they have different personalities and do your best to win over their trust.  If you do so, they may eventually start to come around.

By learning to identify and appreciate the different personalities in your team members, you’ll have a more effective work environment. Value their personality strengths and work those strengths to your advantage, and you’ll have a positive impact on results.

Managing personalities in the workplace begins with hiring the right employees for your medical organization.  Let BOS Medical Staffing help bring the best talent to you.  Since 2008, BOS Medical (a division of BOS Staffing) has brought talented nurses, therapists and medical administrators together with top facilities. Our nursing and healthcare staffing recruiters go above and beyond to find the right candidate for the job.  Contact us today to find the best medical staff for your organization.

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